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Thursday, November 17, 2011
Kris Olsen, WSDOT Communications, 206-440-4475(Shoreline)
Dave McCormick, Assistant Regional Administrator, 206-440-4656 (Shoreline)
Drivers should prepare for ice, winter-like driving conditions
SEATTLE – The Friday morning commute could be a wintry one for Puget Sound if weather forecasts are accurate and snow showers move into the area.
Washington State Department of Transportation crews will be on the road ahead of the storm pre-treating areas where ice is likely to form first, such as bridges and ramps, and monitoring changing conditions. WSDOT has snow plows stationed throughout Western Washington and on Stevens and Snoqualmie passes. Crews in Western Washington have access to more than 195,000 gallons of liquid deicer and a stockpile of nearly 27,000 tons of sand and road salt. Additional snow-fighting equipment, sand, road salt and liquid deicer are stationed on the mountain passes.
“We’re ready for it and we’ll be out on the road ready to plow where needed,” said Dave McCormick, WSDOT assistant regional administrator. “Ice on windshields and the first snow of the season in the lowlands signal that wintry conditions are here, and drivers should prepare for the possibility of heavier snow around the corner.”
WSDOT crews check their equipment carefully and shift gears into winter weather mode – and drivers can do the same. WSDOT has a snow and ice website showing what drivers need to be ready for winter road conditions. Due to heavy snow and wind, WSDOT already has closed Cayuse and Chinook passes, and temporarily closed the State Route 20 North Cascades Highway – with a plan to monitor it through next week.
WSDOT recommends drivers prepare for winter-like driving conditions:
- Staying informed about weather and road conditions and making good decisions.
- Plan ahead and allowing extra time to reach destinations. Drivers should expect lengthy delays if snow and ice mix with the commute.
- Use WSDOT’s mobile apps to stay informed about changing road conditions.
- Follow Puget Sound area traffic conditions on Twitter with @WSDOT_traffic.
- Check the Seattle traffic map and cameras, listen to the Highway Advisory Radio or dialing 511.
- Assemble an emergency car kit.
- Know how to install tire chains. This WSDOT video takes drivers through the process step-by-step.
- See more tips at Take Winter by Storm.
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